Website Accessibility Statement
An accessibility statement on the home page is an important way to indicate that an organization or business is aware of accessibility requirements and has taken steps to comply. It demonstrates social responsibility and a commitment to ensuring that all people will be able to make use of the content. It also is a way to provide useful information about how accessibility is approached technically.
Accessibility statements should include:
- The entity’s commitment to accessibility and compliance with accessibility laws;
- What specific standard is followed for web and content accessibility (such as WCAG 2.0 AA);
- Contact information for users to report problems or concerns;
- A link to the entity’s accessibility policy, if published, and/or a link to the website about the accessibility program; and
- If relevant, information about known limitations, technical preconditions, and/or environments that have been tested for accessibility of this website and content.
Organizational Accessibility Policy
An accessibility policy is a key ingredient of establishing clear goals and building an institutional framework for achieving success with accessibility. The policy provides clarity and consistency about what is expected, who is responsible, what timeframes must be followed and how progress towards meeting the goals will be measured. The policy should be established with input from the components of the organization that will be expected to carry it out and those who will benefit from it. It should be signed off by the relevant policy leader (i.e., CEO, Executive Director, CIO, President, Chancellor) in order to demonstrate the highest level of support. Most policies of this nature are internal documents; an abbreviated version can be made public that includes the broad goals, standards and conformance levels and contact information of key stakeholders.
The internal accessibility policy should include the following elements:
- Broad statement of policy regarding accessibility of ICT and goals;
- Standards that will be followed and conformance levels;
- Scope of policy (i.e., internet and intranet, internal communications, ICT used throughout the organization, ICT development, procurement, etc.);
- Timeframes and milestones for compliance;
- Roles and Responsibilities;
- Monitoring and Reporting;
- Definitions of key terms
A mature accessibility program uses practices and processes that are defined and repeatable. Internal guidance provides those who are responsible for carrying out accessibility objectives with instructions that help them understand what is required and how to do it. Some accessibility guidance can be included in existing guidance for processes such as software development, procurement or web development. Some guidance can be issued specifically for accessibility purposes, i.e. testing for standards conformity. Guidance can include explanations of definitions and requirements, steps to follow, required forms and permissions, tips for effective results and useful resources.
“Developing an Accessibility Statement”, Web Accessibility Initiative, W3C. This tool includes detailed explanations, examples and a generator tool.
“Play 4: Establish a Section 508 Policy”, Technology Accessibility Playbook, published by the U.S. Government Services Administration. The Technology Playbook provides a framework for federal Section 508 managers for a mature Section 508 program. Play 4 provides detailed guidance including a checklist for developing an agency policy.